I learnt this fact one day when walking around the town on a blistering day and came across a little old widow in a worn-out shawl, “like a wizened black olive” I thought, she was gabbling away in Italian; “very curious,” then later a local told me that quite a few of the older inhabitants only ever learnt Italian because of the occupation.
I have been to Astypalaia a few times and having wandered all over the town for countless hours felt a little jaded, picture wise.
One night, escaping the kids and couples, I found myself at the cemetery with the sun going down, there was a ferocious wind and a melancholic atmosphere, that only increased as the night came.
That part of the town tends to be quieter than the centre and is a labyrinth of nocks and crannies.
I realised I had found a new muse, and returned several times to try and capture whatever it was that had that inspired me the first time.
I made a point of getting out early enough to get the light just before dusk; in the two shots of the open window with curtain I was able to make it look fairly light, and as a consequence capture the movement caused by strong winds.
Most of the other images are shot during the night and I found myself drawn to the often lurid quality of mixed light sources, consciously stopping the camera from correcting these, often you would get a light, more or less natural, combined with tungsten or florescent (one of my favourites is the one where the fence shadow is cast as green).
It is a fascinating thing how easy it is to escape the hotspots in some places by making a turn down an alley, or dim lit street and find yourself in another world. In Astypalaia this netherworld is the kingdom of a different beast; stand still long enough and the shadows metamorphous into countless feral, curious and slightly intimidating cats, like ink smudges that flow about you.